Hello, ahoy there, I am Katy Else the South West Digital Champ!


Katy ElseI am based in the very sunny Plymouth in Devon. I have a strong relationship with the South West because I lived in London on the weekdays and Somerset on the weekends therefore I am a mixture of cockney South East London city girl and a bit of a country bumpkin! I moved to Plymouth 4 years ago where I attended Plymouth University to do my English and Creative Writing degree. I am hyperactive most of the time, very ambitious and love penguins and orangutans…and of course poetry! I have been writing poetry since I was about 14 years old and have kept journal style books full of pages of writing and poetry for years. I now have a collection of about eight of them!

I was in Thailand teaching when I came across the opportunity to get involved with Shake The Dust and Apples and Snakes. I applied and the day after I flew home I came to Plymouth to attend a Teacher training day at The Barbican Theatre (the very cool place the Region Final is taking place) in order to help my application, I wanted to be part of this so much I didn’t care how jet-lagged I was!  So here I am now, working with the very talented Sally Jenkins. She runs performance poetry nights in Bristol and has cool hair and a Northern accent which I no longer have an irrational fear of! YAY! I secretly hope to be like Sally and wish to create regular poetry nights here in Plymouth and thus become a famous Performance Poet…

I help to run the Shake The Dust workshops through a Youth Group called Voices For Change at the Barbican Theatre. So far we have done two very successful workshops, the young people working on it with us are fantastic and talented and diverse, we all make a great team.  I am so excited for this project because I love teaching and working with young people, I currently do bits of support work in Plymouth as well. I love poetry and really like to share it with people, it is great to see people become inspired through poetry and by poetry, and growing in confidence. With the help of Sally and all the young people involved my own confidence has grown a mile and…wait for it…..I did my FIRST performance in front of my workshops class!!!  It was a great feeling and everyone is so supportive. That is something else I really like about Shake The Dust, everyone is so supportive and helps each other along, everyone here, in all regions, in all aspects of this project are all one big team creating one big loud metaphorical poem in one big loud voice. This project really is something to be proud to be a part of!

I am immensely excited to update you all on how Shake The Dust is progressing over here in the sunny South West.  This is just the beginning of pure performance poetry perfection, it is just beautiful!